It has been a dramatic first week of Wimbledon, Rafa Nadal, Tomas Berdych, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki are among the big-name casualties, while Murray, Djokovic, Federer and Serena have all survived scares. Let us now use the sunday rest day to take stock of the market after one week and look ahead to the second week.
Novak Djokovic is now strong favourite to become Wimbledon champion after the exit of Rafa. The Serbian is 10/11 (general) to lift the crown. Djokovic seems to have a relatively straight forward route to the semi-finals as he faces compatriot Viktor Troicki in round four, before a quarter-final with either Richard Gasquet or Florian Mayer. Djokovic should not find any of these opponents too problematic. It will not be until the semi-finals where he may face his first real test, this is when he is in line to face Federer.
The ’Fed Express’, as it is essential to call him at some point in every article, is second favourite at 100/30 (sportingbet/Coral). Federer had a little scare against Julian Benneteau in round three, but found his form to book a last 16 place against Xavier Malisse. Federer will be expected to overcome the Belgian before a quarter-final with Denis Isotmin or Mikhail Youhzny awaits. Like Djokovic, Federer should have little trouble with his opponents.
The bottom half of the draw is wide open following the exit of Rafa Nadal and this should benefit Andy Murray, who is 6/1 (sportingbet) to lift the title. The decision from a betting point of view here is either to side with Murray or take advantage of a couple of the bigger price players in that section. The fourth round clash with the big serving Marin Cilic could cause Murray problems and Cilic may appeal to some at 80/1 (Sportingbet). The winner of that game will face either Del Potro 28/1 (Sportingbet/Stan James) or David Ferrer 50/1(general) in the quarter-finals.
Jo Wilfried Tsonga is 10/1 (Stan James) after the exit of Nadal has presented with him a nice route to the last four and a potential match with Murray. Tsonga must see off Fish (250/1-sportingbet) in the last 16 before a last eight game with Phillip Kohlschreiber (80/1-Boylesportts/sportingbet/paddy Power) or qualifier Brian Baker (250/1-sportingbet).
In the Ladies tournament Maria Sharapova is 9/4 (boylesports) favourite and takes on Sabine Lisicki (66/1-general) in the last 16 before a quarter-final with either Kim Clijsters 14/1 (Stan James) or Angelique Kerber (33/1-general).
Agnieskza Radwanska saw off the hopes of Brit Heather Watson and has yet to drop a set in the tournament so far. The Pole has a winnable last 16 game against qualifier Camilla Girogi (300/1-general) and will face either Maria Kirilenko (150/1-boylesports) or Shuai Peng (250/1-Sportingbet). A Radwanska/Sharapova semi-final could be a classic.
In the bottom section of the draw Serena Williams is expected to progress, Williams (10/3-paddy Power) must see off Yaroslava Shvedova (125/1-Bwin). Winning this tie for Serena sets up a tasy quarter-final against either defending champion Petra Kvitova (11/2-Sportingbet) or Francesca Schiavone (200/1-boylesports).
Tamira Paszek appealed at big prices at the start of the tournament and is now 28/1(Sportingbet) and she faces Roberta Vinci 250/1 (boylesports) in the last 16. The winner of that will face Victoria Azarenka (15/2-Sportingbet) or Ana Ivanovic (80/1-General) in the last eight.
The drama is expected to only increase as we approach the business end of the tournament as, fittingly for Wimbledon, we see the cream rise to the top.
© Frixo 2014